Following the previous tease that “Asteroid City is a poetic meditation on the meaning of life,” more details are starting to emerge about the upcoming Wes Anderson film. The acclaimed director’s 11th feature will arrive in theaters with a limited release on June 16, 2023, before expanding into additional markets the following weekend.
“Asteroid City takes place in a fictional American desert town circa 1955,” reads the film’s official description from Focus Features. The distributor has also updated the following synopsis:
The itinerary of a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention (organized to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition) is spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events.
While that’s not the most detailed description, Asteroid City will undoubtedly inspire many a Halloween costume for years to come. Anderson co-wrote the screenplay with Roman Coppola. The two have worked together numerous times since 2007's The Darjeeling Limited, and Coppola most recently received a story credit on The French Dispatch, which was released last year.
“We are beyond thrilled to be the global home for Asteroid City, bringing Focus back in business with Wes and his producing partners,” Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski says in a statement via IndieWire. “Wes is a generational talent whose films delight audiences around the world; and we’re sure that the combination of his incredibly emotional story and vision combined with the insanely talented group of actors he has assembled, will mean that Asteroid City will be no different.”
Jason Schwartzman, who has frequently collaborated with Anderson since 1998's Rushmore, is receiving top billing this time around. He’s joined by Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Stephen Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, Grace Edwards, Aristou Meehan, Sophia Lillis, Jeff Goldblum, Rita Wilson, and Ethan Lee. Bill Murray was originally announced as part of Asteroid City’s cast, but he was replaced by Carell after the The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou star came down with a case of COVID-19.
Anderson has already locked in his next project. Asteroid City will be followed by The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar, an adaptation of the Roald Dahl book starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Friend, Dev Patel, Richard Ayoade, and Ben Kingsley.